Writing a business activity summary may seem confusing or a waste of time; however, creating a template to be emailed to staff and used by different members of the team is a way to simplify the process and gather relevant information. The management team should not expect long narratives; instead use brief statements that highlight challenges and opportunities. Use the information in staff meetings to determine solutions to existing problems and challenges, and make the business activity summary a useful management tool.
Title the document with the company name, date of the business activity report, and simple title. Break the document into subsections with titles: Goals, Results, Description, Next Steps, Recommendations. Write the goals or what the expected outcome was for the targeted activity, then write down the time period using this example: “Goal: Schedule 5 Sales Appointments for the week of June 20th”. Write the result: “Result: 3 appointments scheduled.”
Write a description of the work and state the accomplishment: “After calling 10 Fortune 1000 companies, 50 regional operations, and 35 companies that are members of the ABC Trade Association, there were 3 appointments scheduled out of the targeted 5.”
Describe why the goal was or was not met giving quantitative and qualitative information. Keep the sentences brief and focused. Use bold headings and one or two sentences below each heading to present the facts or issues. Write succinctly advises an article on BNET.com, “your purpose is to present relevant information that allows good decisions to be made, or outlines the effects of decisions that have already been made. “Block negative thoughts about issues aside, do not editorialize, and present the circumstances clearly: “50% of the respondents who answered the call said they are no longer in the market for this type of product.”
Use the next section to state the next steps like which respondents will receive an email or other follow-up message: “Of the people who answered and declined a meeting, 17 are identified as candidates to receive a follow-up newsletter”. Then make recommendations as appropriate: “Market the product as a money-saver for departments instead of a time-saver for individual executives.”
Use the business activity summary as a way to track progress for strategic planning purposes. Make the process “simple, quick to carry out, and easy to understand” as stated by author Peter Hingston in the book “Starting Your Business.”
Modify a summary for different departments Thank those who write the reports for their contributions Include creative suggestions from the reports in company memos and credit the employees
Do not use the information to criticize or talk down to employees
- “Bnet.com: Work Life: Writing Good Reports”
- “Starting Your Business; Peter Hingston; 2001”
- Modify a summary for different departments
- Thank those who write the reports for their contributions
- Include creative suggestions from the reports in company memos and credit the employees
- Do not use the information to criticize or talk down to employees
Don Simkovich writes Southern California travel articles and news pieces for business professionals; to date his writing has expanded the online presence of local businesses. Simkovich attended the University of Pittsburgh, has a Master of Arts in communication management from the University of Southern California. His writing has appeared online in WSJ, USA Today and Desert Publications.